Review by The Purple Pantywaist
The cows are completely normal
Dark Summit is a mission based Snowboard game with a very marginal RPG element. And yes, it has (some kind of) a story. It has its moment, but overall it remains a failed try.
This game makes it really hard to judge its graphical output. You have nice, but unspectacular cutscenes, wide view range, clear graphics, nice models. It is a snowboarding game, so you have a lot of snow. And mountain. All this is nicely done, although it lacks variety. It's direct rival, Evolution Snowboarding has much more variety but worse graphics and visibility. So they made the snow here green, blue and yellow. I do not know why. They just did it.
The few music tracks are nice (always a matter of taste nevertheless), but they repeat themselves often and get annoying. The spoken word is well done, but everything has an echo an echo an echo. It just does not sound like an echo in a mountain. To add to the games atmosphere, there are loudspeaker announcements, so you feel more like being watched. Those have the same echo- effect, are maybe supposed to be funny, but get disturbing.
Ok, there is a story. It is a conspiracy story. If I would tell any more, it would be spoiling. No twist, every "surprise" can be easily predicted, not original. And short.
Tricks are very easily pulled of, you just press the control stick in a direction, and the player turns, until you stop. You can easily do 1800° turns (sic!, no typo), or triple backflips. There are special tricks, which are executed by pressing a simple button combination, eg. A - Y - A. If you press X (and a direction) you do a grab, by holding Y you grind. Very easy controls, no senseless button mashing, no torturing the control stick. Biggest flaw is jumping. Maybe it is me, but although I completed the game, I am still not sure, when to release the A button to make a "good" jump. It still felt random even after I completed the game. Also it is difficult to steer the direction of the jump, and if you made a mistake, no chance to correct it. If you need to shorten your jump, no possibility. This gets very frustrating in the final missions. Landing is easy again.
First to the RPG element. If you do a trick, you get equipment points. If you have enough, you get a (useless) new outfit or a better board. About halfway through the game you get (and need) the best board. These points get completely useless then, and doing tricks (outside mission) as well. And collect bonuspoints. To advance to new parts of the mountain, you need liftpoints. Those are only acquired by doing missions. Mission are found all over the mountain, under satellite dishes. First task is to find one. You have to do all, so you have to go down the same track very, very, very often again to do so. And if you miss a satellite, you can do the whole section again. Missions are do some kind of tricks (see controls above) or knock over/jump over something. In this case you have to find those things, which means, you have to look for them, which can get frustrating. Third kind of mission is escape, which is difficult, as your pursuers are normally as fast as you and you can not do much to go faster, besides to not jump and to not fall down. The missions are not tedious, just looking for them gets very boring. The later missions in the game are too difficult to be any fun. After finishing the game, you get some new boarders, with whom you can play through story mode again, if you really want to. I have never played multiplayer, I prefer 1080 for this.
In a nutshell, 6 out of 10. The downfall are the missions: Would there have been more, and you only have to do 75%, it would have been much better (but maybe too short?), or if you could simply select them and just roam the mountain for boni. The missions themselves feel generic as well. The RPG element is evanescent.
Rating: 3.0 - Fair
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